Infuse Issue 11 May 2020 | Page 25
Something new to chew on
Nutrition perspectives on ‘new’ foods
from collagen to pea protein
by Catherine Saxelby, Award-winning author and Freelance writer
atherine Saxelby is an Australian dietitian
and nutritionist known for her no-nonsense
approach to food, eating and diets. With a
diverse background, she is prolific in the media,
having written thousands of articles and contributed
to many publications.
Kombucha (pronounced kom-boo-chah) is a slightly sweet, slightly
acidic, fermented beverage made from a base of tea. It is made from
water, tea and sugar (the substrate for the fermentation). So you start
with sugar but it largely disappears during the making of kombucha.
The tea infusion mixed with a SCOBY (which stands for a ‘symbiotic
culture of bacteria and yeast’). The fermentation by this tea fungus
or ‘mother’ is the process that ferments the sugar and yields acetic
acid (which gives it that characteristic sharp taste), carbonic acid and
carbon dioxide gas (which adds the bubbles).
Does kombucha really stack up as that ‘something special’? The short
answer is ‘not really’. The long answer? Well, you MAY ingest some
friendly bacteria to help your digestion, but no-one knows for sure.
It’s been drunk to assist gut function for centuries in Japan, Russia and
Germany but there’s not a huge amount of research into its health
© Dietitian Connection
To my way of thinking, its greatest advantage is its lower sugar
content to that of regular soft drinks, combined with its refreshment
value as a tart yet effervescent drink.
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Infuse | May 2020